09 September 2010

Politics Continued by Other Means

Happy New Year, and welcome to another year in which the lunatic fringe will put forth conspiracy theories against the Obama administration and other Semites... instead of the Jews. Of course, if you're truly an observant Orthodox Jew, you won't see this until after sunrise on Friday when you'll be able to use the 'net again...

In any event, this is a long rant today on lunacy and intolerance — mostly religious intolerance. On the "gentler" end of the spectrum, a nutcase wants to prevent release of the Medal of Honor game, alleging that the game is nothing more than a "killing simulator" that will give away secrets to the Taliban, that it is being indiscriminately sold to minors, and that it's improper because it "allows" players to play as members of the Taliban. That first objection is more than a little bit ridiculous, as anyone who has had any experience actually wielding weapons in anger could tell you; killing — especially repeatedly — is about a lot more than hitting targets with fake weapons that have no recoil. The second is no better: Leaving aside the unacknowledged constitutional problem with restricting "minors" from what they can see on the bloody evening news, calling for a ban because a manufacturer isn't participating in an ill-conceived, ineffective, voluntary sales restriction system is just a little bit hypocritical. By that standard, we should also ban the Bible (both testaments) for their various sins.

On the other hand, it's that last item that is most ridiculous. If Medal of Honor is, in fact, a reasonable killing simulator, it's not going to give away a damned thing to pro-Taliban users... because they still think like Americans; the rest of the simulation isn't that good. But if, somehow, it becomes that good in the hands of experienced players, that's all to the good for everyone... for only by understanding how one's opponent fights in asymmetric warfare does one have any chance whatsoever of long-term survival, let alone victory. Then, given the tone of the letter (which has been made largely available), a little bit of America First bigotry was to be expected, amplified by the antisemitism.1

But special-forces-type idiocy isn't restricted to just violent video games... such as the burn the Q'ran proposal by a radical fundamentalist. As Jon Stewart said, "A Christian is an extremist by burning the Q'ran. A Muslim is an extremist by reading from it." OK, so he has a better grasp on what "news" means than the media moguls: Sometimes a "fair and balanced" news presentation requires calling someone who is bugfuck crazy a lunatic. And calling the "special forces" vet who claimed in a letter to the Rev. Jones2 that "100% of the special forces are behind burning the Q'ran" innumerate in the face of the number of Muslim members of the special forces would be too generous...

This leads to a pretty clear conclusion:

Religious fundamentalism — regardless of the particular religion — is bugfuck crazy and leads only and inevitably to stupidity, bigotry, and bloodshed.

Is this really what we're supposed to be thinking about/celebrating this close to the Day of Atonement (the critical part of Judiaism that was not adopted by fourth-century politicians trying to use the cult of Christianity to overthrow Caesar)? It's not about religion as much as it's about politics expressed through warped quasi-patriotism. And you "nativists" out there better look back more than five hundred years or so to figure out what "native" means in these here parts... and maybe give back that that modern Colossus off Manhattan, especially after reading that damned inscription.

  1. Jews, Palestinians, Arabs — all semites. Get over it.
  2. Given the clear insanity, self-aggrandizing publicity seeking, and exclusionary tone, one wonders if he's a relative of another Rev. Jones in more than just rhetoric.